Chapter 6D of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 15 the following section:-
Section 15A. (a) The commission shall develop, implement and promote an evidence-based outreach and education program to support the therapeutic and cost-effective utilization of prescription drugs for health care practitioners authorized to prescribe and dispense prescription drugs including, but not limited to, physicians, podiatrists and pharmacists. The commission shall develop the program in consultation with health care practitioners authorized to prescribe and dispense prescription drugs, as well as with private insurers, hospitals, community health centers, pharmacy benefit managers, consumers, the MassHealth drug utilization review board, the University of Massachusetts medical school and researchers and organizations engaged in the development, training and deployment of health practitioner education outreach programs.
(b) The program shall provide outreach to: (i) health care practitioners who participate in: (A) MassHealth; (B) the subsidized catastrophic prescription drug insurance program established in section 39 of chapter 19A; and (C) other publicly-funded, contracted or subsidized health care programs; (ii) academic medical centers; and (iii) other health care practitioners authorized to prescribe and dispense prescription drugs. The program shall include in-person visits to prescribers by physicians, podiatrists, pharmacists and nurses that utilize evidence-based materials and borrowing methods from behavioral science, educational theory and, where appropriate, pharmaceutical industry data and outreach techniques; provided, however, that the program shall inform prescribers about drug marketing intended to circumvent competition from generic or other therapeutically-equivalent pharmaceutical alternatives or other evidence-based treatment options, if applicable. The commission shall, to the extent possible, utilize or
incorporate into its program other independent educational resources or models proven effective in promoting high quality, evidenced-based, cost-effective information regarding the effectiveness and safety of prescription drugs.
(c) Annually, not later than April 1, the commission shall report on the operation of the program including, but not limited to, information on the outreach and education components of the program, revenues, expenditures and balances, including an accounting of the estimated expenses of the program for the following year, and savings attributable to the program in health care programs funded by the commonwealth. The report shall be made publicly available on the commission’s website.
(d) The commission shall undertake a public education initiative to inform residents of the commonwealth about clinical trials, drug safety and prescription drug adherence information. The commission shall prioritize outreach and public education initiatives in low-income communities.
(e) The commission may establish and collect fees for subscriptions and contracts with private health care payers related to this section. The commission may seek funding from nongovernmental health access foundations and undesignated drug litigation settlement funds associated with pharmaceutical marketing and pricing practices.
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